MINOT AIR FORCE BASE-Minot Air Force Base has been in the thick of the fight with flood efforts the past few weeks, whether it be augmenting support forces at Grand Forks AFB, or sending helicopters and rescue equipment to Fargo or Bismarck.
The outpouring of help came closer to home the week of April 1 as airmen and members of the local communities participated in sandbagging efforts in Minot and Burlington.
"All in all, our airmen and members of the local community helped fill approximately 150,000 sandbags," said 1st Lt. Edward Ciccarelli, 5th Civil Engineer Squadron readiness flight commander. "We also sent about 100 pallets so the sandbags could be transported where needed."
Submittted Photo --
Cecil Alg, a retired National Guard member, helps fellow Minot residents build sandbags to aid in flood relief efforts April 1 in this photo by Senior Airman Kelly Timney. Minot area volunteers from the community and Minot Air Force Base reached their goal of filling 25,000 sandbags in the first two days alone.
Senior Airman Kelly Timney, 5th Bomb Wing photographer, was one of the volunteers and reflected positively on the experience.
"Helping build sandbags for the flood relief was important to me, because it was something I could do here in the city of Minot," Timney said. "It was amazing to see so many people pull together - elderly community members, airmen from the base and even the local high school baseball team were all there getting dirty filling sandbags. I know that I'd volunteer to do it again in a heartbeat!"
Ciccarelli added that Title 10 was activated recently, which opens the door for Minot AFB to officially provide resources when requested.
"Title 10 allows civil authorities to tap into federal resources," Ciccarelli said. "But regardless of it being activated, there haven't been too many official taskers that have come down, so we've been looking to help wherever and however we can as long as things go through proper channels."
The highly-touted relationship Minot AFB has with the local community is serving well for both parties as clear communication has been the key to success thus far.
"We're keeping in touch with downtown emergency management," said Ciccarelli. "They ping (call) us ahead of time and let us know. We were happy to help.
"Right now, we're just waiting to see what happens," Ciccarelli said. "We were in the proactive stage before. We're in the reactionary stage now, but I believe we're well prepared."